Asked on Jun 02, 2016

What is eating my squash plants?

Teresa C
by Teresa C
Did not see any insects, they are probably hiding! What should I spray?
Squash leaf 1
Squash leaf 2
  9 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 02, 2016
    You need to spray them with a horticultural oil. make sure you spray the tops of the leaves as well as underneath. They are squash worms in which will eat the entire plant.
  • Amy Anson Amy Anson on Jun 03, 2016
    the other thing you could try is garden lime. I've been having all sorts of problems in my garden and I sprinkled a little on (advice from a friendly gardner) and whalla, no more issues. And the deer seem to be staying away from it all too. It's great for the soil and friendly to the environment.
    • See 1 previous
    • Carol Carol on Jun 03, 2016
      @Amy Anson A 40 lb bag at home depot what did you buy 40 lb of what
  • Rodrigo Sebidos Rodrigo Sebidos on Jun 03, 2016
    Definitely, you have worms attacking your squash plants, check early morning, if you see worms with 3 stripes at the back ,colored brown, possibly armyworms. The worms start to feed after dark and hide under the soil or plant debris at daytime, spraying won't control them just pick them one by one early morning.
    • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jun 03, 2016
      @Rodrigo Sebidos Spraying will control the squash worm.It just has to be reapplied.
  • Kathy Kathy on Jun 03, 2016
    It is probably either the spotted cucumber beetle which is yellowish-green with black spots or the striped cucumber beetle which is about the same color and that has wide black stripes on wing covers. I would pick any off that you see and kill them. Check the underside of the leaves for the eggs. If you need to use a pesticide, do the research and use whatever one you feel comfortable using.
  • Rodrigo Sebidos Rodrigo Sebidos on Jun 04, 2016
    You're correct spraying insecticides do kill worms but also wrong since you kept on spraying again. Understanding the Biology of insects is a non- toxic and environmentally sound insect control strategy. The case of squash worm (many types) at daytime you don't see them on the leaves except the damage, so what's the use of spraying, the target is not there? they usually dropped down to the ground upon sensing sunlight and hid under plant debris or soil clods. the worms start crawling after dark to start feeding, so in the early morning, if you turn the leaves, underneath you can see them, then you can pick them up and crushed it on the ground. My advice is to consult your Agricultural Pest Control Agent in your area for specific control measures or recommendations.
  • Mac Mac on Jun 06, 2016
    Yep squash beetle, try cultivating well under and around the plants to disrupt their home and I have used lemon juice and baking soda sprinkled generously on and around the plant.
  • Cheryl Gyles Cheryl Gyles on Jun 07, 2016
    My guess would be squash beetle, they attack squash and zucchini plants. You can usually find egg clusters on the underside of the leaves. The young surprisingly look like squash seeds with legs, and mature bugs are grayish brown with wings. I was told by my county horticultural extension that there was really no spray that can get rid of them, you have to be diligent and hand pick when you find them or destroy the eggs before they hatch. I have stopped planting squash for that reason alone, sadly.
  • Rodrigo Sebidos Rodrigo Sebidos on Jun 08, 2016
    Don't be discouraged, Cheryl, here's some tips. Monoculture or planting one type or a single variety of plant in an area increases the risk of heavy infestation of harmful insects. one approach to minimizing insect damage that is environmentally sound and economically acceptable is Cultural Management: Crop rotation- planting different crops in different season breaks insect's life cycle hence reduce their population, next season if you plant the first crop damage is minimal (you are now on the third cropping, first cropping-Variety A, second cropping Variety B, third cropping- Variety A), This is only an example, there many combinations.Inter-cropping, this is the best method if you're planting squash continuously in the same area since squash is prostate type plant, inter-crop tall plants or shrubby type. The idea is to vary the topography and diversity of insects that visit your crops. Not all insects that visit the crop are all harmful there are beneficial insects such as predatory , assassin and killer insects that helped tone down the population of harmful insects, crops that are pollen- bearing or nectar producing are best Companion crops. Beneficial insects are encouraged to stay in plants. Healthy soil- high in humus and organic matter produce healthy plants and they tend to be tolerant to insect damage, but use plant materials only as a source of organic matter, animal sources tend to attract other organisms in your plants such as rats plus the odor is not good. In this way, you have a healthy crop, healthy soil and healthy people avoiding the ecological impact of pesticides on human health
  • Marianne Russ Marianne Russ on Dec 21, 2017

    It looks like pest are eating your plants. It can be squash bug because squash bugs are most commonly found on squash plants. You should check your plants and see whether squash bugs are there or not. One can identify squash bugs as the squash bug is fairly large (over ½ inch long) with a brownish or gray body and flat back. The edges and undersides of the abdomen have orange stripes. You should try some pesticide sprays or can consult some professionals like Pest Control Redding CT for your help. If one is left with no option, professionals are the only options they can opt.